Give your clients the benefit of stone massage therapy in the summer. Working with cold marble stones can be refreshing and relaxing for both you and your client.
Why cold stones?
It is amazing how the body embraces cold from marble. The intense cold of marble stones only lasts about 17 seconds, because marble begins to warm the moment it touches the skin, whereas ice or cold packs tend to stay cold and feel less comfortable. Marble is a very soft stone and has a tendency to absorb heat from tissue, helping ease inflammation and making it ideal for cold stone massage.
Stone massage for stress relief
To provide the benefits of stone massage therapy while cooling and relaxing the client, try this technique. (Note: Do not place stones directly on the client’s body—always place a sheet, pillowcase or towel between the stones and the client’s skin.)
- Place cooled, rectangular marble stones on a massage table, reflecting the areas on either side of the spine from the sacrum to the neck.
- Cover the cold stones with a sheet or pillowcase and help the client lie back on the cold stones.
- To neutralize the cold from the marble, place a hot stone on the client’s abdomen.
- Next, place a cold stone on the solar plexus, followed by a warm stone on the heart chakra.
- Continue the treatment by alternating hot and cold stones on various body locations. This cold-and-hot technique causes the constriction and dilation of blood vessels, which is both relaxing and stimulating. I call it vascular gymnastics.
- As the client lies with the stones in place, manually massage her face, head and feet.
- Remove all stones and ask the client to turn over.
- Place one large, warm stone on the sacrum, then place cold stones in the client’s hands and warm stones between her fingers.
- Apply massage oil and massage the client’s back with warm stones, then cold stones, then warm and cold at the same time.
Benefits of stone massage
At the completion of this stone massage treatment, clients may feel like they have just had a long nap and are ready to tackle the rest of their day. This is a wonderful session for a client who comes in at lunchtime and will go back to work, or needs to relax before an important meeting.
This treatment also gives the therapist the opportunity to provide stone massage when the weather is hot. Clients who normally feel hot find the addition of cold marble stones to massage to be a delight.
Pat Mayrhofer is president and founder of Nature’s Stones Inc., a company offering a series of live, hands-on training programs; continuing education conferences; educational DVDs; and massage stones and textiles. MASSAGE Magazine readers can get a discount on the Nature’s Stones Executive Stress Relief package of 23 hand-carved marble stones; call (215) 364-4422 and mention MASSAGE Magazine to order (not available online).